Summary: Naaman had everything going for him in his life except one thing - he needed cleansing!
March 11, 2007
Text: 2 Kings 5:1-15
Subject: The Fullness of a Life in Christ
Title: Calling You to Something Better
I don’t know if you’ve noticed it or not, but I have been preaching really hard about going to the next level in your relationship with the Lord. Now some of you are probably wondering why I continue to preach that way. After all, you are doing pretty good right? I mean, you are genuinely experiencing something from the Lord when we come together! Or are you?
Since I have been able to quit secular work I have more time to spend in prayer about my sermons and the direction God would have me take in my preaching. Often I find myself asking, “Why, God? I just preached like that and didn’t get much response.” It is difficult to preach in areas where it seems that the word is going out and just kind of bouncing off and coming back to me. Sometimes I wonder if the church 1) either isn’t hearing what I am saying, 2) doesn’t believe what I am saying, or 3) just doesn’t care what I’m saying. But all I know to do is preach in the direction God leads me and that’s enough. Occasionally someone will come to me and let me know how a particular sermon touched their life. I appreciate that by I don’t live for that. What I do live for is just trying do see God’s will for my life and living it out to the fullness of what He has called me to – and this much I know – He is calling me to something better.
I know that you know that the “something better” is heaven. And we are excited about that prospect. But today I will show you that there is something better for you here on earth and I hope to help you get there. You have to want it! If you don’t want it you have my permission to go ahead and make yourself comfortable, curl up and take a nap. We’ll let you know when church is over.
Pay attention and let the Word of God do in your life what it is intended to do today. God is calling you to something better!
I. THE FRAILTY OF LIFE (1) 1Now Naaman was commander of the army of the king of Aram. He was a great man in the sight of his master and highly regarded, because through him the LORD had given victory to Aram. He was a valiant soldier, but he had leprosy. The beginning of our passage today shows us just how fleeting the good things of this world are. Naaman was in charge of the whole army of Israel’s enemy, Aram. I don’t have any doubt that he was fierce in battle. He probably went to the best schools, showed the most promise, and worked harder than any of his contemporaries to get where he was. What better thing could you ask than to have your boss think you are great? Don’t we all kind of live for that pat on the back? Isn’t it nice to know you are appreciated? And there’s nothing wrong with hard work! Proverbs 10:4, “Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth.” The problem comes when you place all of your confidence in the things of this life without consideration for what is next. Solomon figured it all out at the end of his life. Ecclesiastes 1:2-4, “2“Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless. 3What does man gain from all his labor at which he toils under the sun? 4 Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever.” Solomon realized how temporal this life is. Now, let’s go back to Naaman. What good were all his accomplishments? All his greatness could not protect him from leprosy. As great as he was you can rest assured that not even the lowliest slave would have traded places with him.
II. THE FAITH OF A SERVANT. (2-3) “2Now bands from Aram had gone out and had taken captive a young girl from Israel, and she served Naaman’s wife. 3She said to her mistress, “If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.” I want you to look at a comparison of two lives here. First there was the mighty commander of the army, Naaman. He led raids into Israel often and would take captives and bring them back to be slaves in Aram. He had it all, except peace. Now let’s look at a little servant girl. Her name isn’t even mentioned. It is like possible that, in the worst-case scenario, her parents had been killed in a raid. At best she had just been kidnapped. She had every reason to be angry and wish the worst for Naaman. But what a sweet spirit is exemplified here. Paul wrote in Philippians 4:12, “12I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” How are people able to respond to adversity in that way? “13I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” This little girl was a perfect example of Christian love. I remember my heroes from my childhood. They seemed larger than life. I’m sure that I saw way more in them than what was really there. This girl had a childhood hero. His name was Elisha. I doubt that she had seen firsthand any of his miracles. I’m sure that by the time the reports of those miracles had made it into her childhood circles they had been embellished. So it’s easy to understand that she was sure that Elisha could heal her master. But what made her think that he would? Galatians 5:22-25, “22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” If Elisha were really the man of God that she thought he was his godly nature would shine before men. So in essence her faith was not in Elisha, but in the God he served.